Saturday, June 04, 2011
I've heard a lot of hub-bub about the latest HBO series, and I needed something to read this summer while trying to relax my brain, and I remembered reading some George R.R. Martin way back in Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, and then I read this post on Steven Hart's Site. And I bought the series of paperbacks.
I didn't realize they were each in excess of 800 pages. Nor did I realize that the labyrinthine cast of characters and houses and conspiracies would hardly allow me to relax my brain. But I enjoyed Game of Thrones nonetheless. Yes, there's some sword and sorcery, but not so much sorcery in this volume. Mostly it's political jockeying leading up to war. Its complexities remind me of Dune. Martin is refreshingly willing to foil expectations by killing off or seriously injuring any character at any time. Even those apparently set up as heroes for whom the reader pulls.
Aside from a dalliance with Jack Vance last year, I've not touched a huge fantasy series since the mid-'80s and Stephen R. Donaldson. It's kind of fun to dip into an old familiar well. I look forward to the TV show on Netflix, since we haven't got HBO.